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Duane Reade expands eco-tote availability

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK In celebration of Earth Month, Manhattan-based retailer Duane Reade is expanding the availability of the Alvin Valley-designed eco-tote available exclusively at Duane Reade.

The “Use It, Don’t Abuse It” eco-totes were initially offered in three store locations in February in conjunction with New York’s Fashion Week. Now, the eco-totes can be purchased at 41 Duane Reade stores throughout metro NewYork. They are priced at $14.99 each.

The retailer will also offer a 99-cent eco-tote at all store locations.

To encourage shoppers to use the eco-friendly bags, the company will award five bonus points to customers who use the bag when making purchases at Duane Reade between April 22 and May 31, 2008.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Alvin Valley eco-tote will be donated to support The Stevenson Green Roof Project, a public-private partnership that brings new opportunities for learning and stewardship to the Bronx community.

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JPMA refutes media reports about dangers of baby bottle materials

BY Jenna Duncan

MT. LAUREL, N.J. The media has been asked by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association to halt stories with claims of purported negative health effects from using baby products containing bisphenol A (BPA). JPMA claims that statements of ill health linked to items containing BPA are often misleading and frighten consumers.

According to JPMA, research has shown that when used properly, products made with BPA do not pose a health threat.

Robert Waller, Jr., the president of JPMA, said, “JPMA is extremely disappointed in the media for speculating that Health Canada’s assessment of BPA would recommend labeling the chemical a dangerous substance, when in fact the report has not even been issued yet.”

Claims in the media have stated that risk may come from the plastic shields on pacifiers, parts of baby bottles or sippy cups being broken down or chewed, and then ingested with food or saliva. Scientific findings indicate that BPA may cause estrogenic effects in laboratory animals, and so concerns about the safety of baby products, especially bottles, has been under scrutiny.

JPMA, whose mission is to educate consumers and industry professionals about juvenile products and safety, is referring consumers to its Web site, www.babybottles.org, for more information on BPA and related health findings.

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American Greetings reports fiscal 2008 profit

BY Doug Desjardins

CLEVELAND American Greetings generated $83.3 million in earnings for fiscal 2008, including $15.6 million in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 29, and more than $1.77 billion in total sales for year. Total sales were down about 1 percent from $1.79 billion the previous year, but earnings were up 96 percent from $42.4 million.

“I’m pleased we were able to achieve earnings within our forecasted range and exceed our cash flow guidance,” said American Greetings chief executive officer Zev Weiss. “Our strong cash flow allowed us to make two acquisitions in the digital photo space and repurchase shares.”

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